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University of Florida and UF Health announce $12 million gift from Orlando business leader to launch brain tumor research initiative

The Harris Rosen Foundation investment supports a multipartner collaboration focused on leading-edge brain tumor immunotherapy 

ORLANDO — The University of Florida has received a $12 million gift from Orlando hotel magnate Harris Rosen and The Harris Rosen Foundation to advance innovative brain tumor immunotherapy research and care at UF Health and to launch an unprecedented partnership for the development of novel brain tumor treatments. 

The Rosen gift is the cornerstone of a $100 million fundraising commitment to support the ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors, a groundbreaking, collaborative initiative led by UF that will unite world-leading neuro-oncology physicians and scientists in dynamic research and clinical trials. 

The gift was announced Friday, Feb. 22, before the inaugural ReMission Summit for Brain Tumors at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando. The UF-organized Summit brings together more than 100 experts in neuro-oncology, tumor immunology, genetics, artificial intelligence, neuroimaging and bioinformatics to form an elite research community focused on achieving transformative outcomes for patients with brain tumors over the next decade. The ReMission Summit also serves as the public forum for the debut of the ReMission Alliance, a multi-institutional research collaborative focused on the advancement of novel immunotherapies for adult and pediatric brain cancer. 

“I am extremely grateful that Harris Rosen and his family share our vision to make a transformative impact on outcomes for patients with brain tumors,” said Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of UF’s Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and director of the ReMission Alliance. “Their support of our research, patient care initiatives and the ReMission Alliance will allow us to leverage the power of the immune system to combat invasive brain cancers to dramatically improve the lives of brain tumor patients, here at UF and abroad.” 

The ReMission Alliance’s work builds on the success and growth of UF’s Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and collaborative research partnerships fostered over several years by Mitchell and his colleagues. Over the past five years, the center has undergone dramatic growth and established itself as a leader for brain tumor treatment and research. Along with William Friedman, M.D., co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center, Mitchell and his team will support several bold research projects and clinical trials coordinated with principal partners from among the world’s best research institutes and hospitals. 

“Thanks to the generosity and support of Harris Rosen and his family, we are able to pursue research breakthroughs that result in real change,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “I am confident that, together, we can advance the work necessary to provide extraordinary outcomes for patients suffering from malignant brain tumors and improve their survival rates and quality of life. The ReMission Alliance embodies UF’s commitment to the greater good.” 

This work — to organize multidisciplinary, collaborative research efforts among groups of skilled researchers and physicians — resonated deeply with Harris Rosen. His son, Adam, who received care at UF Health, died in November after a prolonged fight with brain cancer. Harris was impressed by the UF Health clinical team’s professionalism, skill and commitment to making Adam and his family as comfortable as possible. 

“It was obvious how dedicated they are to improving the quality of life for their patients,” Rosen said. “The team at UF is already doing extraordinary work, and the Alliance will enhance their progress and improve outcomes for patients well beyond Florida. A collaboration like this is difficult and lofty, but my family and I support this vision to rewrite the story of brain cancer.” The Rosen gift will bolster ongoing research efforts at UF Health and provide vital seed funding for the ReMission Alliance. The suite that houses the UF Health Neuromedicine practice at the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital and the neuro-oncology laboratories within UF’s Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute will be named in honor of Adam Michael Rosen. This investment by the Rosen family adds considerably to the UF Health Cancer Center’s growing resources to combat deadly malignant diseases. Mitchell serves as co-leader of the UFHCC Cancer Therapeutics and Host Response, or CTHR, program. 

“Programs like the CTHR bring researchers from numerous UF colleges, departments, centers and institutes together, working in tandem to advance the development of new cancer therapies for resistant cancers,” said Jonathan D. Licht, M.D., director of the UFHCC. “Initiatives at the Cancer Center have become a centerpiece of UF Health’s overall research portfolio, which includes approximately $200 million per year in NIH funding and totals $450 million in sponsored program expenditures.” 

David Nelson, M.D., UF’s interim senior vice president for health affairs, added his appreciation for the Harris Rosen Foundation gift. 

“This contribution to the groundbreaking work and collaboration that our team at UF Health is undertaking is a significant vote of confidence that our efforts will make a profound impact on the people and communities we serve,” Nelson said. “Our physicians and researchers are fueling scientific discovery while developing new, promising pathways for patient care. Through the collaboration that this gift catalyzes, our impact will be even greater.” 

These transformative commitments demonstrate how UF, as one of just a handful of global comprehensive universities, is positioned to leverage its research expertise and academic excellence to create lasting impact in the health care field and address major societal challenges. 

Harris Rosen is the founder, president and chief operating officer of Rosen Hotels & Resorts. His company owns eight hotels and resorts in Central Florida, including the 1,501-room, AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek.


The Inaugural Mixer Event to be held at Truck Stop Event Venue Monday April 23rd
Attention Local Realtors - 

Enter to Win Florida Realtors® Envy Award

Don't wait to enter Florida Realtors® annual Environmental Award program, or you may be green with ENVY when the winner is chosen. Popularly known as the "ENVY" award, the honor goes to a development that best preserves Florida's natural quality of life. The award may be given in two categories: one for residential development and one for commercial development.

The most recent winner, Summit East Technology Park, a 117-acre commercial development in Tallahassee, was honored with Florida Realtors' 24th ENVY Award. Designed in harmony with Florida's natural resources, the project was recognized for demonstrating green building practices.

Summit East Technology Park is located at the crossroads of Highway 90 and Interstate 10, two major traffic corridors in eastern Leon County, Fla. The project's founder, Rick Kearney, was committed to building an ecologically friendly and "green" community, but he also wanted to create a place where businesses could utilize the latest advances in technology, according to Summit officials.

Judges praised the development as a "comprehensive, green development that exemplifies the benefit of establishing an environmentally conscious framework within the planning and design stages of a project." They noted that the quality of the space surrounding the buildings was given as much importance as the quality of the buildings themselves. With its conservation areas, outdoor amenities and civic events, Summit East provides excellent recreation and common areas for its tenants, visitors and families.

Some of the other environmentally concerned developments named as past ENVY Award winners include: Oakland Park, Baldwin Park, Verandah, Lakewood Ranch, Wild Heron, Harmony, World Golf Village, Solivita, Amelia Island Plantation and Viera.

The winner in each category will receive a distinctive Lucite trophy, recognition at Florida Realtors 2018 Convention and Trade Expo from Aug. 8-8, 2018, and statewide news coverage as Florida's top environmentally conscious builder. A panel of distinguished environmental and planning professionals judges the competition. The entry deadline is Friday, July 6, 2018.

ELIGIBILITY: All Florida commercial developments are eligible. Also, all planned residential developments with a minimum of 30 residential units in Florida qualify. Residential developments must be currently available for marketing and must include a model home.

JUDGING CRITERIA: For each criteria category, applicants should explain how the project goes above and beyond current environmental preservation and/or building code minimal requirements. Please include photos, site plans and other documents that illustrate your points to the judges. Provide narrative that clearly demonstrates and explains the development's environmental features, environmental or preservation activities, and design aspects to help the judges better review your project. Explain what makes your project stand out from the rest – what are you the most proud of? Why should your development receive Florida Realtors ENVY Award? These are the things judges want to know.

Commercial: (1) Preservation of natural flora and fauna; (2) Architectural compatibility; (3) Design in scale and context with surrounding environment; (4) Open space and access/usability of surrounding environment; (5) Common area access and usefulness; (6) Streets, pedestrian and bicycle access; (7) Drainage as a design feature; (8) Marketability; and (9) Tell us what makes your project stand out from the rest – what are you the most proud of?

Residential: (1) Preservation of natural flora and fauna; a) Highlight any restoration areas or efforts; b) Include any corridors/buffer zones; c) Highlight wetlands areas; (2) Landscaping/compatibility with surrounding environment; (3) Design in scale and context with surrounding environment; a) Highlight and explain any specific "green" standards and/or certification standards endorsed by the project – such as standards from the Florida Green Building Coalition, LEED-ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Neighborhood Development) standards or National Home Builders green building standards; (4) Open space and access/usability of open space; a) Highlight green space and unusual features; (5) Family recreation and common areas; a) Highlight special areas; (6) Streets and safety features; (7) Drainage and stormwater design features; a) Highlight any unique stormwater plans; (8) Marketability; and (9) Tell us what makes your project stand out from the rest – what are you the most proud of?

SUBMISSION: There is no entry limit and no cost to enter. Please email the necessary documentation either as a PDF, send a flash drive or send it in a three-ring binder. The entry should include the following material in this order: (1) A written overview of the development (maximum of four pages, typed, double spaced – remember it can be scanned and sent as a PDF file); (2) Supporting material and photographs that address the judging criteria in the order listed above; and (3) Any other supporting data, including development plans if warranted – but plans are not required. Upon request, entry materials may be returned after judging.

DEADLINE: All entries must be received at Florida Realtors' headquarters by Friday, July 6, 2018. Please send entries as PDFs, marked 2018 ENVY Award, to marlam@floridarealtors.org. Or send submissions via regular mail to ENVY Award, Florida Realtors, 7025 Augusta National Drive, Orlando, FL  32822-5017.